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In the Eye of the Tiger looks this Private Tutor

September 30, 2013

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Don’t think about the sorrows of the world

You will only make yourself wretched.

Book of Songs, Spring and Autumn Period

The Private Tutor‘s thoughts from the corner for this post revolve around the Chinese proverb above. In my last post I explained how I turn to my book of Chinese proverbs to alleviate the stress of day to day living. How can so few words say so much? No wonder they have survived to this very day.

No man is an Island

Entire of himself

John Donne

As individuals, we are at the centre of our own universe. It is our very own ‘sorrows’ that occupy the vast majority of our time but we do, of course, occasionally meander onto other patches of sorrow and this prompts us to action.

Recently I saw a World Wildlife Fund (W.W.F.) commercial on TV. It showed a dying tiger in a wire trap. To say I felt ‘wretched’ is an understatement. The next day I sponsored a tiger with the W.W.F. I gifted that, as a birthday present, to my partner. We received a welcome pack and will receive regular updates on our tiger.

I meandered onto  the patch of sorrow that involves the plight of the world’s last few remaining tigers in the wild. I am glad I did. I feel so much better for ‘doing my bit’. Try it: W.W.F.

A further example of ‘sorrow’ which affects me personally is that of students who have failed their English exams and need to re-take. I receive a call from concerned parents calling on my services to tutor their children for the next, dreaded, exam day. Strangely, though, their ‘sorrows’ do not make me feel ‘wretched’. Their plight puts food on my table! You see, every cloud has a silver lining! 🙂

You are probably thinking, ‘How heartless and selfish can he be?’ What can I do? Look at it another way. Ambulance drivers put food on the tables of their families because of the sorrow and wretchedness of the patients they transport. There seems to be some kind of Yin and Yang effect going on here. One person’s misfortune is another person’s fortune. Just how weird and strange is that?

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The proverb seems to be telling us that we cannot shoulder the burdens of the whole world. We are but a tooth on a cog that is part of the wheel that makes the world go round. Individually, we are indeed, an island but we must do our little bit by putting in one piece of the jigsaw, even though we cannot complete the whole jigsaw by ourselves.

Excuse me while this private tutor runs off to give a lesson to a sorrowful student who failed his English paper. . .

p.s. Our tiger’s name is Karmeta, she lives in Nepal, is 9-10 years of age and both she and her daughter may be pregnant, according to our latest update.

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From → Writing

  1. Good for you. I have a snow leopard to my name. It hurts and shocks so much when I see the grossness with which we treat this planet and all who share it with us.

  2. Very thoughtful. Similar idea as, I guess, trying to do something about poverty or land dispossession and looking beyond ‘first world’ problems.

    What a weighty start to the week! 🙂

    • ‘Weighty’ reminds me of my midriff – but we won’t go there. 🙂

      I’ve had enough of buying useless birthday and Christmas presents. We have so many ‘things’ around us. As long as we have ‘what we need and not what we want’ then I think spending my money like this is far more important.

      Once again, thank you for your comment on my humble blog.

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  1. Երբ բնությունը նայում է քեզ կենդանու աչքերով / When the nature looks at you through the eyes of animal | Arlen Shahverdyan. Author's Blog

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